Sunday, June 29, 2014

Message of Love chapter excerpt: Reid and Everett's First Pride

This year I ducked out of SF LGBT Pride events a little early, not because of any sense of shame or fatigue (well, a little fatigue). I've attended Pride marches, and marched myself, with several groups over the years, even rode a bicycle several times –now, that was fun.

photo: Andy Warhol
But in fictionalizing the first Pride event for my characters Reid and Everett in Message of Love, I had to re-remember the naiveté, innocence and sense of being overwhelmed to be in the company of thousands of out LGBT people. 

Do you recall your very first Pride event? Were you scared, nervous, afraid, overwhelmed? My first time, in 1988, New York City, I was. I snuck out of a job that required me to work that Sunday. Wearing a button-down shirt and pants, I was quite overwhelmed to see so many smiling happy people. By the next year, I was marching with ACT UP, protesting, chanting, and in the company of a tribe of like-minded activists.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pennsylvania Pride

As LGBT Pride events fill our national (and international) calendars, I want to focus on Pennsylvania, and the setting of my two most recent novels, where it seems the fictional dreams of my protagonists have come true.

Some background about the two novels Every Time I Think of You and Message of Love (with some minor spoilers).

Dancing in the streets of Pittsburgh
In 1979, Everett Forrester's sister and father live in Pittsburgh, and in the first novel, the two young men's first awkward romantic night is spent in Squirrel Hill, a scenic neighborhood similar to Shadyside.
This May, people were dancing in the streets in the neighborhood of Shadyside after Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban was declared unconstitutional. (Photo by Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)